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Healthy Healing: Progress in Healing Diabetic Wounds

Categories: Current Research

Each year, an astounding 66,000 diabetic individuals have a lower-limb amputated due to wounds that have failed to heal in the United States alone.  It is no surprise that prevention of diabetic complications is pushed with such fervor, but what happens if you do get an infection – what then?

Progress is Being Made

Researchers at the University of Notre Dame have found the enzymes that they believe can aid in healing diabetic wounds.  This is a big deal! Enzymes are crucial when it comes to healing – they either hinder or help as the healing process happens and diabetics have different deficits and needs than those without diabetes.  Up until now, the standard of care for lower-limb wounds has been to simply keep the wound clean and free from infection, however this is not enough based on the amount of amputations happening yearly.  The new approach by researchers at Notre Dame would focus on a certain enzyme called MMP-9.  This enzyme is actually detrimental to diabetic healing and new treatment strategies would focus on inhibiting it.

What does this mean?

What this means is that new, novel ways of healing will be possible.  With this new research, the dressing used to treat diabetic wounds will be specifically to inhibit the “bad” enzymes and will allow the “good” enzymes to heal the wound.  This could be incredible for those who have long suffered with lower-limb wounds and non-healing cuts.

Prevention is still the Best

While this treatment is not yet ready and the goal is to avoid needing the special dressings in the first place, it is crucial that prevention of wounds and self-care be the priority.  So take good care of your lower extremities (check for small cuts and bruises regularly and treat with kid-gloves) and stay moving – it helps circulation and will help encourage blood flow in the event that something does happen. Keep checking in with us for more in cutting edge diabetic research!

And be sure to check out our page dedicated specifically to Foot Care for products that help in healing and prevention of foot problems.

By: DiabeticCare editorial team; Published: 11-1-2013, 7:30 AM

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